Enyimba, Warri Wolves, and Heartland question the choice of Kano for the congress.
Less than three days to the Congress of the Nigerian Premier League, NPL, another internal strife is threatening to jeopardise the body’s programmes as two of its top members have been suspended.
The Congress, after earlier postponement due to clashes between the NPL leadership and that of the Nigeria Football Federation, is scheduled to hold on December 6 in Kano. The congress is expected to, among other things, confirm the commencement date of December 22 for the 2012/2013 Premier League season, which is already several months behind schedule.
Three days to the congress, however, the board of the Premier League suspended two congress participants.
The Chairman of the Gombe State Sports Commission, Farouk Yama; and the Deputy Director (Sports), Rivers State Government were suspended by the NPL board.
Their suspension was contained in a letter dated December 3 and signed by Kasali Obanoyen, the Acting Executive Secretary of the Premier League and addressed to “All Premier League Clubs and All State Football Associations.”
The board said it based its decision on a letter by the Association of Professional Footballers of Nigeria. The letter, also dated December 3, by the footballers, describes the appointment of the two men as a contravention of “articles 1.9(4) Rules and Regulations of the NPL under club management provisions.”
The suspension of the two state football leaders is just a little of another crisis brewing in the Premier League management.
Sources told PREMIUM TIMES that three club chairmen have already petitioned the Nigeria Football Federation over the choice of Kano as the venue of the congress. The Chairmen of Enyimba Football Club of Aba, Warri Wolves FC of Delta, and Heartland Football Club of Imo petitioned the Nigeria Football federation last week over the choice of Kano State for the congress. The officials challenged the choice based on the security situation in the Northern State and other parts of Northern Nigeria were militant attacks have killed hundreds of people in the past year. The chairmen threatened not to attend the congress.
However, a top official of the NPL said the leadership of the body is not bordered by the threat.
“Even if they don’t come, we only need 11 clubs to be present at the congress according to the statutes. If we have 11 in attendance there won’t be any problem,” the official said.
The professional footballers association also expressed a similar position saying “since the parent body, NFF sanctioned the forthcoming congress in Kano after an earlier halt of same, nothing should now be done to jeopardise the relative peace in the football family.”
As of Monday, the management of the Premier League said the congress would go on as scheduled.
Download Links for the two (2) letters:
2. APFON letter